The Resurrection

Posted by Thaddaeus

Mark 16: 1-7


When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.  Very early when the sun had risen, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb.  They were saying to one another, "Who will roll back the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?"  When they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back; it was very large.  On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed.  He said to them, "Do not be amazed!  You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified.  He has been raised; he is not here.  Behold the place where they laid him.  But go and tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.'"


Background:  When the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is a solemn Sabbath was over, the three so-called Mary’s of the tomb buy spices to anoint the body of Jesus.  Mary Magdalene is the sister of Lazarus and Martha, the one who is called the “apostle to the apostles.”  She is a wealthy benefactor and the foremost among the women disciples of Jesus.  Her parents were intimate friends of the parents of the Blessed Mother, Joachim and Anne.  Mary, the mother of James the Lesser, is Mary Cleophas.  She is the Blessed Mother’s niece, the daughter of Mary Heli, the Blessed Mother’s elder sister.  Mary Salome is the Blessed Mother’s aunt, the daughter of her mother’s elder sister, Sobe.  She married Zebedee and is the mother of the apostles James and John.  In all of this we see the close familial ties between the apostles, the benefactors and the women followers.  With one notable exception, Judas Iscariot, they are Galileans.


The Resurrection:  One of the interesting things that Mark points out is that the women bought spices after the sabbath was over.  He makes the same point that Joseph of Arimathea bought burial linens before the sabbath.  Some scholars argue whether such purchases would have been permissible during the festival at the time of Jesus.  Arguably, the purchases could have been made secretly.  The ancestors of the Blessed Mother are from a sect of Judaism known as the Essenes, which means “secret.”  They are from a large communal village near Nazareth in Galilee.  The Essenes often hold different interpretations about the letter of the Law than the Second Temple ruling Sadducees.  Conversely, oral tradition seems to make it permissible for certain necessary things such as preparing a corpse.  In Jewish culture there is a high value on caring for bodies, especially on a solemn feast; so, there may be overriding circumstances.